Jennifer A. Chin (cswallow) wrote,
Jennifer A. Chin

The present to myself

Every morning now begins with two big eyes peering at me from the pillow next to my bed, and a skinny brown tail whipping back and forth with hope. I crawl from under my covers and slide down to sit on the floor, where my foster dog wriggles her way into my lap and cranes her neck to lick my chin.

This winter has flown by, and it seems that every time I pull my head up from the tidal pull of days, I am nearer to the relief of springtime. I cannot help but think of this time last year, when I was still trying to pull my foot through every practice, every week leading up to the competition was full of stress from not knowing how we'd be able to perform. This year, C and I have danced 3 competitions on consecutive weekends, with 2 more weekends to go. Competition day, recovery day, work days, competition day, recovery day, work days - on and on it rolls, but I am somehow still finding my moments of quiet: sitting with coffee and an excel spreadsheet on an early morning in the office, facing C on the competition floor in the electrified calm just before the music starts, flicking the gas on underneath a pot of water for macaroni and cheese. I think to myself, "this is how a life passes."

I think, too, that this is the best of times, when I am breathing the air without judging it. When I read on the subway, I read hard and fast, often so immersed in the story that I miss my stop. I am immersed in my own story now, too. Long ago, my professor of writing, Robert Gundlach, told me that what most appeals to writers about New York City is the ability to both be an observer and a participant without judgment. He said that in New York City, one can always step into the flow or "people-watch," depending on how one needs space or energy. I am in it, then, breathing and living and pass up all the chances to observe.
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